DIY Christmas Gifts: Homemade Playdough


Playdough Final

As Christmas is approaching I have been thinking about a simple and fun gift that I could make myself for the several kiddos that I teach throughout the week. My challenge is to keep it frugal and budget friendly, so I decided to put a twist on the classic homemade playdough and mix it with essential oils, glitter, and more!

In this tutorial I’ll show you several different options for making playdough as gifts for your own kids, or all of the kiddos on your list this year. This is great for neighbor friends, cousins/nieces/nephews, church class and more because you can make a huge batch (18 gifts) for super cheap! The only thing I had to buy was the small containers (which you could probably also find at your local dollar store), and Cream of Tartar. I get the Cream of Tartar from the bulk section at WinCo and it’s MUCH LESS than getting it in the spice isle.

Ingredients Playdough

Items Needed:

  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1/4 cup Salt
  • 1 1/2 to 2 Tablespoons Cream of Tartar (I like stiff playdough so use a full 2T, but if you want it to be less stiff use the smaller portion.)
  • 1 cup Water
  • 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • Food Coloring
  • Essential Oils (Optional)
  • Scented Extract: Orange, Peppermint, etc (Optional)
  • Glitter (Optional)
  • Small containers or baggies

Making the playdough is actually quite easy and quick! I made the 6 colors that I’ll show you in here in less than an hour.

Playdough Steps

Step 1:
Heat the water, oil, food coloring, (and essential oils or extracts if you choose to use them) in a sauce pan.

Step 2:
Combine the flour, salt, and cream of tartar in a small bowl. Just before the water reaches the boiling point stir in the flour mixture.

Step 3:
When the ingredients are mixed together you can scoop it out onto a cutting board or small plate and then kneed the dough together. After that it will be ready to cool off before dividing it up for gift wrapping.

Some of the variations I made:

Red Playdough with Peppermint Extract & Silver Glitter:
Follow all of the steps above, but add peppermint extract to the liquids. Then while you are kneeding the dough you can add the glitter! My daughter loved this step and it’s her favorite batch that we made!

Red Glitter Playdough

Green Playdough with Red Glitter:
Just the same as the red above, but you can use a different extract smell and a different color of glitter.

Orange Playdough with Orange Essential Oil:
I added orange essential oil to a batch and it smells GREAT! *Please remind the kids that while it smells yummy, the playdough isn’t for eating!*

Lavendar Playdough

Purple Playdough with Lavendar Essential Oil:
I added lavendar essential oil to the purple color and this one is Mama’s favorite! Sitting down and spending time with the kids playing playdough was relaxing, calming, and enjoyable! 🙂

Experiment and have fun with the playdough! I would love to hear what batches you make and who you are planning on giving it to this Christmas! To complete the gift you can also add some fun cookie cutters or small rolling pins!


 Orange Essential Oil

Orange Essential Oil. 10 ml. – $5.49 + Free Shipping

  • Citrus sinensis
  • Aromatic Scent: This variety has a sweet vaguely anise-like, mint, smoky odor.


Gladware Mini 4 oz Containers w/Lids 8 ct – $7.49

Ships Free with Amazon Prime (Try a FREE Membership)

  • ADD-ON Item

Cookie cutters

Wilton Mini Cookie Cutter set of 12 – $6.33

Ships Free with Amazon Prime (Try a FREE Membership)

  • Star, angel, gingerbread girl, stocking, candy cane, teddy bear, bell, holly leaf, tree, gingerbread boy, ornament and sleigh
  • Each approx 1 1/2in.

 Mini Rolling pins

Mini Retro Look Rolling Pins – $13.83

Ships Free with Amazon Prime (Try a FREE Membership)

  • Package of 12 Individual Mini Rolling Pins with Red Handles
  • Size: 5″ long
  • Because Amazon’s prices fluctuate so much and some times so quickly, please don’t be mad at me if you miss this great price!  Also, see why we ♥  Amazon Prime for free shipping!  This post contains our affiliate link. Please read our DISCLOSURE POLICY here.

Types: Crafts, Family, Kids
Categories: Frugal, Gift, Christmas

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